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Sharks are Goode to go

By Rowan Callaghan | Mar 05, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

FORMER England flyhalf Andy Goode is in the Sharks' starting line-up for tomorrow's match against the Waratahs in Sydney.

Kickoff off is at 10.40am South African time.

In a desperate attempt to resurrect their floundering campaign, coach John Plumtree has made a number of changes to a team that has struggled to spark so far in the competition, losing their opening three games and scoring only one try in the process.

To accommodate Goode, a recent loan signing from French club Brive, yo-yo man Ruan Pienaar moves back to scrumhalf after starting the last two matches at flyhalf, and Rory Kockott drops to the bench.

Wing JP Pietersen will make his 50th Super rugby appearance for the Sharks while Odwa Ndungane keeps his place on the other wing.

In midfield Riaan Swanepoel replaces Waylon Murray, partnering AD Jacobs, while the more mobile Keegan Daniel starts ahead of powerhouse Jean Deysel on the flank.

There is also a change at hooker with John Smit reverting to his old position to boost the Sharks pack. The experiment worked well in the match against the Cheetahs. Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira makes way for Deon Carstens at tighthead. Jannie du Plessis completes the front row.

The Sharks have made a woeful start to this year's campaign, losing their first two matches at home to the Chiefs (19-18) and Cheetahs (25-20) before being thumped 35-6 by the Crusaders in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday last week.

Lock Johann Muller apologised to fans this week for their poor performance against the Crusaders and promised that they would lift their game in Sydney, though he acknowledged it won't be easy.

"They're a really good side, one we've really struggled against in the past, but to be honest we aren't looking at them. It's not about the opposition, but about us. We know we haven't been good enough so it doesn't matter what the other sides throw at us, if we play to our own ability it doesn't matter who we play. So it's important to get our own structures in place and improve week in and week out," he told the Sharks website.

The Waratahs have just come off a tough tour, including a trip to South Africa where they lost to the Stormers (27-6) and Bulls (48-38), after beating the Reds 30-28 in their opening match. But they will be confident against the Sharks at home, having beaten the visitors three times in the past two seasons.


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